Thursday, March 12, 2015

Church Signs: 10 to 1

There is a church that I pass on a regular basis these days. For the past couple of months they have had this message on their sign: "It is easier to preach 10 sermons than to live 1." Since I see this message just about every day, I have had plenty of time to think about it.

One of the charges brought against Christians is that we are a bunch of hypocrites. And to some degree that is true. Many humans are hypocritical in certain areas of their lives. Even though those of us who follow Jesus sometimes have a hard time living out what we say we believe. So, this message causes me to think about my own actions. Do they match up with my words, or would Jesus say, "Do what Fred says, but don't do what he does?"

When I teach others to love their neighbors, do I ignore the needs I see in my neighborhood or city? When I tell folks to lay down their lives for others, does my own love only go as far as my schedule and comfort? When I teach that Jesus calls us to go to that brother or sister who has something against is and get it settled even before we come to worship, do I sit back and wait for them to make the first move?

When I proclaim our freedom in Christ, do I, by my actions, tell people they have to follow Jesus the way I do and put certain expectations on them? When I teach others to forgive, do I secretly harbor resentment? When I tell others to trust God, do I run ahead and try to fix things my own way?

Since I have the privilege of teaching and discipling others, these are things that I have to keep in mind at all times. Actually, I think all of us who follow Jesus should be careful that what we do matches up with what we teach, because we are all teaching if we are proclaiming the gospel. It should never be said that we are hypocrites!

God help us to live out our beliefs in our day to day.

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